As Teacher Librarian, I spend a lot of time thinking about books. I think about the types books that ERHS students want to read, and how to keep you coming back for new books. If I care deeply about the kinds of books we have, I also have to care about how you find books. What is the point in developing a great collection of books if students can't find what they are looking for? In order to solve this problem, many school Librarians have turned to genrefication. Genrefication is a fancy way of saying "we reorganized the books to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for". Traditionally, libraries organize the fiction section in alphabetical order by the author's last name. This is great for Librarians, not so great for the book seeker. Most students ask us where the scary books are or where the love stories are. Sure, there are some authors that are so famous, every body knows their name (think Stephen King and John Green). The reality is, most people who visit the library don't know what they're looking for until they know, ya know? We decided to start genefying the fiction section, and not look back. With the help of our wonderful Library Student Aides, we color coded all of our fiction books based on its genre, the category that best represents the theme of the book. We then created signage for each genre, organized the books in the genre section, and alphabetized them by the author's last name. Now, browsing the fiction section feels more like a book store and hopefully it will make finding your next great read even easier.
It has been about a month since we completed the genrefication project. I have to admit, I felt a little bit of anxiety in the first few days. I was so conditioned to books being alphabetized by the author's last name, that I felt a little lost. It didn't take long for me to see how much better it is for our students. Stop by the Library to check out our new fiction section, let us know what you think!
To honor Women's History Month, we will highlight amazing contemporary women authors! To learn more about these women and their books, head over to our Virtual Book Display page. Today we honor author and poet Nikki Grimes. She is also a local of the Inland Empire! We are grateful for her body of work. Check out her books on Destiny or Sora.
During difficult times, I turn to words. I seek out authors and poets who know words deeply. Who arrange sentences so beautifully, it is impossible not to feel every single word. For the first month of 2021, I am turning to poets and authors who meet this criteria. I hope that you seek out your own beautiful words to help heal, soothe, and comfort your soul during these times.
At the ERHS Library, we usually celebrate "Makerdays" in December. Makerdays is all about creating in the library. We provide students with cheap and easy DIY gifts to give or keep. While we cannot be together this year, we still wanted to provide you with inspiration to create during the holiday season. For our virtual Makerdays, we will provide tutorials for easy and affordable gifts each week you can make for yourself or for someone else, go to our Virtual Book Display Page for more information. We will also be giving away a Makerdays craft kit each week. Be sure to fill out the Google Form enter. One winner will be selected every Friday, you can enter every week.
We know that this past year has been difficult for many of us. Making, crafting, tinkering, and creating is a great way to spend time with yourself, relax, and relieve stress. We hope that these ideas can provide you with some fun and creativity until we can all be together again. Happy creating Mustangs!
Thanksgiving is a time for us to take a moment to reflect on what we are grateful for. In a year that has been overwhelming for many of us, it might be difficult to find gratitude. One of the ways I cope with stress is to read. This year, I am reflecting on the books that I am grateful for. I realized that the author who's books have stuck with me the most is Tiffany D. Jackson. Jackson is the author of three YA novels, Allegedly, Monday's not Coming, and her latest release, Grown. She is one of the most unique voices in contemporary YA literature. Her books deal with issues ranging from juvenile justice, missing and exploited youth, and teen age love. All of her books highlight the way Black girls are often failed by the social and justice systems that are supposed to protect them. Her books take her readers through the complexities of growing up, and the horrors of what happens to young girls, who society sees as "grown" simply because they are black. Her books have stayed with me, and I am grateful for the harsh realities they have shown me, and the lessons that they will teach to those who are willing to learn them.
I hope everyone has a happy, and healthy Thanksgiving break.
Halloween in the Mustang Library is usually filled with trivia, costumes, and candy. While we can't celebrate the spooky season together, we hope that you find a way celebrate Halloween safely. In the meantime, we paired some scary, witchy, spooky books to read along with movies & films to stream this Halloween. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!
In her essay, Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors, Dr. Rudine Sims wrote: "Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books". I was a freshman in college when I found my mirror, writer Michele Serros. For the first time, I felt I had read something that I could relate to completely. I have always been a big reader. In elementary school and middle school my favorites were the Sweet Valley series, Babysitters Club, and everything from Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and V.C. Andrews. These were books that were fun to read, and I learned a lot from them. They are some of my most cherished book experiences, even today. However, they did not reflect me, my family, my friends, or my school. When I read Chicana Falsa, Serros' book of poems & essays, I felt like I was hanging out with a cousin or close friend. Her book was a mirror for me. I was amazed by the fact that her story, so similar to mine, was worthy enough to be printed in a book. Her books also serve as "windows" to millions of other readers whose lives might not exactly mirror hers, but would be enriched by reading it. I am proud that at the ERHS Library we have "mirror" books, that reflect the lives and experiences of our school community. In our library you can also find books that are "windows" or "sliding glass doors" that can show you a world or life experience different from your own. Michele Serros passed in December 2015 from cancer, she was 48 years old. You can learn more about Michele and her books at www.miralamichele.com/index.html.